LONG SAULT, ONT. -- A school bus driver is being hailed as a hero as she rushed out seven children from a burning vehicle.

It happened during the afternoon school bus run Monday afternoon in Long Sault.

"The moment will live with me forever," said Paulette Rossi.

"It went up fast, very fast."

The school bus with Roxborough Bus Lines was picking up children from Rose des Vents elementary school in Cornwall and headed to Long Sault.

Rossi says it all began when the bus' horn began to malfunction.

"I saw some smoke starting and I said, 'woah, we got to get out of here'," said the Long Sault woman.

"It was intense."

Rossi said within five minutes, the bus burst into flames.

"I was worried about an explosion because I had just filled up the bus Friday," said Rossi.

"I knew there was a lot of gas there and said, 'we got to move fast'."

The mother of three kids, now in their adult years, credits her instinct and her evacuation training for her quick-thinking.

"It was totally motherly instinct," said Rossi.

"These children on the bus are like my children."

The general manager of Roxborough Bus Lines says Rossi did everything right.

"I can sleep a little better at night knowing the training practices we put into place are paying off in situations like this," said Nick McRae.

"This could have been catastrophic."

McRae emphasized children on-board are the priority, and his drivers, are not only well-trained but caring individuals.

"Just want to thank all our staff for the great job they do," said McRae.

"Drivers have a tough job and it's nice to see when a good deed is done, people are there to compliment them."

Both McRae and South Stormont's fire crews are hailing Rossi a hero.

"Hero is the word that really fits," said McRae.

"It's exactly what she is."

There's still no word on cause of the fire, but South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau believes it was sparked by an electrical problem.

All the children are safe.

No injuries were reported.